Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Classroom Notes


Instead of the usual update, I’d like to use this newsletter to share more about the Eco-Critters Project that we have been working on as a class.

I have been enjoying the creativity that kids brought into their writing as they described their fantasy critters.  Just over a week ago, kids finished their Eco-Critter Essays, which introduce their critters and explain how their critter’s form fits its function in the ecosystem.  The names they have come up with for their critters are fantastic.  Have you ever seen a Callyhopper?  How about a Spiny Tailed Spike Arm?  The next time you’re at Forest Park, be on the lookout for the Urban Dot!  Keep your eyes peeled for the Samurai Pincher Blaster and the Purple Feathered Runner!  Oh, and watch out for the Snowcloud and Slitherio!

During the writing process, kids created webs to plan their paragraphs.  They did an outstanding job of organizing their main ideas and adding supporting details.  Kids then explained their webs to me during a conference and began writing their rough draft on their Chromebook, using their plans as tools.  They wrote several paragraphs, each beginning with a main idea (a table top) and supported by details (table legs).  Kids revised and edited together using a checklist.  Then I gave them feedback through comments in Google Docs and in person.  This feedback led to more revisions.

During the past week, we began talking about a plan for our exhibit in the Reed College Biology Building.  We’ve used a “projects as cooking” metaphor before in the room.  Often we need to remember to bake the cake before we ice it.  As the kids finished revising and editing, they declared that this project was “coming out of the oven.”  Then it was time to make the icing, our exhibit.

Team 20 served as tour guides to Reed College students yesterday at our Eco-Critters Exhibit in the Reed College Biology Building.  The exhibit will be on display for the next two weeks.  Here’s a link to photos of the kids sharing their work with the college students.  And here’s a link to the project introduction that Precious, Adam, and I wrote.

Please follow us on Twitter @LewisRoom20 and at for regular updates and photos!


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